Deep Thought About Sequestration

(Updated below)

What worries me most about sequestration cuts to adult education is not the cut to adult education itself. The federal investment in adult education, while significant to those who benefit, is relatively small in comparison to other federal programs, and by the time you apportion a $30 million cut across 50 states plus territories, the impact will be somewhat diffused.

What worries me more is the rest of the sequestration cuts, and how states respond to them. States have no money. I assume they are going to have to try to move around what little they do have to make up for loss of federal dollars in other, more visible and popular programs. Remember that states are losing money for K-12 teachers and special education and a host of other things. I can imagine some states might be looking at cutting their state investments in adult education and re-allocating that money into those areas, and I can imagine that this could be worse than the sequestration cuts themselves in many states.

If you want to contact your elected representatives about sequestration, the National Coalition for Literacy has an action alert here.

UPDATE: Good summary here of the impact of sequestration on other programs. Education alone will be cut by $2.1 billion, which would result in 1.2 million fewer students served under Title I grants, potentially ten thousand teacher job losses, and nearly 300,000 fewer special education students served. Early-childhood education will be cut by just under $600 million. These are the kinds of program cuts that states are going to be scrambling to try to address in the months and years ahead.